June 8th - 22th 2015, Ireland & UK & France ...

As our friends Jonathan and Sally (UK) have bought a new house and invited us to visit, we thought we take the SL and drive over ... but if we do the long trip, it is a good excuse to extend it with a tour through Ireland...

Ireland

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Monday morning, 5:30, we started with the SL and a set of new tyres in Weinheim for our 950kms trip to Cherbourg in France, where we had to catch the ferry at 18:00 hrs for Rosslare, Ireland. So we had this view here out of the car for long hours (the bridge is close to LeHavre) and 51 (!) Euros of toll (one-way) ... ... if we had missed the last check-in at 17:00 we would have had a France holiday instead ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we arrived around three o'clock and had enough time to check-in ... 953 kms after ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We had a cabin on the ship as it arrived next day 11:30 in Ireland ... of course we tested the bar.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). All-in-all the ship (Irish Ferries) was really nothing special, maybe we should have taken the 5* suite instead of the 4* ... that's the pity for Cynthia to have such a cheap-ass husband ;-) ... it was so cold in the cabin, that she had to put the jacket on ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). When we arrived we had day 1 of fantastic weather (in Ireland!). Those were the type of roads we were driving all the time ... the green tunnels ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). In the South-East we took the ferry at Passage East ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... just to find more beautiful roads along the Southern coast. On the whole trip, the softtop was closed only on two days. We were really lucky with the weather, as the whole May it was basically raining there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Of course some pictures with the car, here at Dungarvan Harbour ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Our first stop we prebooked in Youghal, the Avernes. The tasting menu was really good including matching wines. A hotel we can recommend ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day we had a stop in Kinsale ... where the pubs get ready for the evening ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Colourful houses in that little village at the sea ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and we had one of many coffees throughout the trip ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... on we went on the little windy roads ... and by accident we found the "Glandore Inn" in Glandore ... sitting directly at the road and the sea ... Thomas had some smoked salmon with a little salad for 11 Euros ... yummy!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here you see Glandore and the Glandore Inn where we were sitting ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). See the weather? Jealous? ;-) Here's us driving up the Kilcrohane Pass looking towards the Dunmanus Bay ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). One night we stopped in Bantry ... here in the Ma Murphys Pub behind the bar ... Thomas drank a local beer, the Green Bullet ... nice!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Sun going down over the Bantry Bay ... view from our hotel room ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day, next pass, this time the Healy Pass on the Beara Peninsula ... little windy roads, some sheep and hardly anyone else ... We also did the ring of Kerry, but it's actually not as beautiful as the other peninsulas and totally crowded by tourists and busses ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After staying a night in Tralee, we did a trip (in the rain) to Limerick (St. Johns castle on the photo), but we were a bit underwhelmed there, so ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we drove towards Killarney and stopped in Adare Village, a beautiful little town ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where we had a little lunch in one of the cafes ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After arriving in Killarney (three nights there) we had a good dinner at the Bircin Restaurant ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On recommendation of our receptionist, we did a walk around the Muckross Lake, starting at the castle with the same name ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here on our walk around the lake ... seeing this mountain and not having the slightest idea of what lay ahead for us ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... because after having a coffee, we climbed that mountain on a track like that ... basically straight up for at least 45 minutes ... not bad for an old couple ... what you see are actually steps!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After we made our way up, we were rewarded with that view over the Killarney lakes ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On the way down we found this - as we called it - American Tourist Barrier ;-))) ... far too narrow ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After this 4,5 hours walk even Cynthia deserved a lunch ;-) ... which we took in a pub nearby ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day we toured the Dingle peninsula, beautiful views again at the sea ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... not a lot of tourists or cars around there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This is a view from the Connar Pass on the Dingle Peninsula ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). And this is - not unusual in Ireland - the way down ... careful driving necessary ... this is a 2-way road (believe it or not!!!)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We had a stop at Fahamore where we thought we deserved a Prosecco ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Down another pass (Slieve Mish Mountain) ... we had to approach that sheep to about 10 metres before it started moving ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). An old fuel station on the way ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). From Killarney we headed towards Galway. After crossing the Shannon River by ferry, we stopped at the famous Cliffs of Moher ... just to find out (we expected that) that it's full of busses and tourists ... so a quick photo and off we were!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After arriving in Galway at the Park Hotel (to be recommended), we had some drinks in this pub
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day (rainy day 2) we toured the Connemara Area with the top up ... at least we got some nice views including a more typical Irish weather ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We also had a walking tour through Galway ... it's a really nice city, lots of restaurants and pubs ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). In Murphys Pub in Galway we had three drinks. Cynthia insisted in having a Smithwicks "Cider" ... Thomas' two questions "you really want that" and "half a pint or a pint" were quickly answered. So Thomas, a well-trained husband, obeyed and saw a big surprise in Cynthia's eyes after arriving at the table, with Ale instead of Cider. So he had to get back to the bar and ask the barman for another drink ... this guy probably thought "my god these Germans are drinkers" ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). From Galway we made our way back to Rosslare to catch the ferry to the UK next day. We stopped at the Rock of Cashel, a huge building hundreds of years old ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last stop was Kilkenny (here the castle), then we overnighted close to Rosslare.

England, Jonathan & Sally

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Friday morning, 09:00, we took the ferry from Rosslare (Ireland) to Fishguard (Wales). After arriving there @ 12:30 we took the drive to their house (approx. 450kms) ... Interesting parking on this ferry ... a pretty steep slope ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was good to meet Sally and Jonathan again. They took us to dinner to the Scarlett Arms Pub ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where we had a nice dinner and lots to talk about ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Included in our stay was free parking in front of the house ;-) ... a really impressive building, partly a former stable ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Saturday we went for a walk in their area including an uphill part (we were trained from Killarney) to the Leithhill Tower ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On the way to our "Lunch Pub" we saw one of the old red telephone boxes ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Saturday night, we had a barbecue at home (raining!) and somehow we managed to empty five bottles of Champagne! It was great to catch up and we're looking forward to seeing them again in Germany!

France, Somme

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Sunday we took the train through the Eurotunnel to drive to France. Funny story at the check-in in Folkstone: We thought they have still manned booths, but there was just a touchscreen. While approaching we couldn't find a barcode on the printout, so we wondered how that all works. After arriving at the monitor we were greated with "Welcome Mr. Kaercher" ... the video system read the license plate of the car ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We spent one night in a hotel in Arras to get ready to explore some sites of World War I (this is the central plaza there) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day (raining) we visited this memorial site in Pozières ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where the Aussie diggers' memory is still alive ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Besides the Adelaide Cementary, we also visited the Australian National Memorial (picture) ... very well maintained ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We drove back in the afternoon and arrived in Weinheim after 4,123 kms ... the car drove without any problems.

Ireland is definitely worth a visit! Two things stick out: The friendliness of the people and the fantastic landscape. It was great to see Sally and Jonathan again and it was very special for both of us to do this trip in the SL!